Dec 30, 2015 10:40 AM EST

Tesla Motors Inc Hiring: Thousands of Qualified Applicants Needed in 2016 Onward

By A. M.

Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Inc. has had all-sized competition as Atieva Inc., Karma Automotive Inc., Faraday Future Inc. lure essential personnel from his 12-year old enterprise. Lucky then that when Musk advertised on Twitter about a job-opening for "hard-core software engineers", a flood of applicants responded.

After Tesla's successful release of its first electric sport-utility vehicle and a Nevada battery factory soon to open, the company will be employing a few thousands more in the coming years. Currently, the Palo Alto-based automotive leader employs 14,000 personnel and will add 4,500 more across the next four years. This is a big jump from just 899 employees at 2010's end.

There is no doubt that the company is beefing up further to face down start-up competitors and giants as Apple and Alphabet, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. Tesla has an immediate opening for 1,600 engineers for its self-driving, robotic Autopilot project.

Autopilot is progressing, albeit slowly, with Tesla's software update release for Tesla Model S cars. The update provides a few Autopilot capabilities such as lane changing, parallel parking by command as well as speed adjustment in traffic. It is by no means a full automation, with Tesla recommending keeping hands on ready at the wheel, but it is good progress still. In Musk's own words this upgrade is, in fact, "quite a profound experience".

The company CEO addresses comparison to Audi and Mercedes cars' cruise control and lane-keeping systems with this: "The whole Tesla fleet operates as a network. When one car learns something, the whole fleet learns something."

Musk explains that the network is "uploading data to the central server, where it can be collected, do system analysis, and then feed that back into the cars. That's the next level - and far beyond where other car companies are. Any car company that doesn't do this will not be able to have an autonomous driving system."

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